Samsung calls shenanigans: Could jury misconduct lead to a new trial with Apple?

by: Simon HillSeptember 25, 2012

It should come as no surprise that Samsung was not too happy with the outcome of the patent infringement trial with Apple in California. The South Korean electronics giant has now filed court proceedings alleging juror misconduct and asking a federal judge to throw out the verdict.

Samsung’s lawyers are pointing out a number of cases where juror misconduct has led to a retrial. In the Apple vs Samsung case they are using evidence from the interviews that some of the jurors gave after the verdict to call the trial into question. Apparently the first verdict that came back was hastily prepared because it included damages that Samsung was supposed to pay even for patents which were not infringed. The judge asked them to amend it before the verdict was presented.

The argument seems to focus on the jury’s foreman Velvin Hogan who is a video recording patent holder. During the trial the judge asked him if he could apply the law as instructed “and not based on your understanding of the law based on your own cases.” Hogan said he could, but juror Manuel Ilagan said in an interview with CNET, talking about Hogan, that “He had experience. He owned patents himself…so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier.”

Hogan also admitted himself, in interview with Bloomberg TV, that he explained prior art and some nuances of patent law to the jury. If Samsung can prove that he cast himself as a legal expert and used prior knowledge to try and influence the jury then it may have a chance of showing juror misconduct. The jury is not allowed to rely on information not presented during the trial.

Samsung is also complaining about the lack of time given to each company to present its case because Samsung’s lawyers used up a lot of their allotted 25 hours for cross examination of Apple’s witnesses.

Meanwhile Apple is trying to getting a bump of $707 million to the $1.05 billion payout it was already awarded. The two foes are due to meet in December.

  • SamsaraGuru

    California is regarded by the legal profession as one of, if not the best of, places to sue a corporation; awards that are all out of proportion to reality; judges who tend to walk to a different beat, laws that are deliberately designed to hamstring corporations to begin with, etc. Way out jurors who want to do a little legislating and score settling too possibly?

    When I heard how absurdly quickly they arrived at a verdict on such an incredibly complex case, my immediate reaction was, “I bet they had a gaggle of iPhone freaks on that jury who before it even began had their minds made up they were going to help ol’ Stevie get his way.” – albeit posthumously.

  • FormeriPhoneUser

    I could not understand how the trial could be held so close to Apple’s campus. Even if none of the jurors worked for Apple, their lively hood would be indirectly reliant on Apple’s presence in the local economy. The US should do away with jury trials for technical cases.